Lebanon’s cultural tapestry is interwoven with an array of quirky superstitions and beliefs that have transcended generations.
From warding off bad luck to seeking good fortune, these seven intriguing traditions offer a glimpse into the fascinating world of Lebanese folklore.
Evil Eye Charms for Protection
The belief in the evil eye’s malevolent influence has led to the popular use of talismans, often in the form of a blue eye, to ward off its negative effects. These charms are displayed in homes, worn as jewelry, and even pinned onto infants’ clothing for protection.
Salt Thrown Over Shoulders
Spilled salt is more than just a mess in Lebanon. It’s considered bad luck unless you immediately throw a pinch of it over your left shoulder to appease lurking spirits and reverse the misfortune.
Knocking on Wood to Avert Jinxes
The act of knocking on wood is taken seriously in Lebanon, with believers rapping their knuckles on any available wooden surface to counteract any perceived jinx or bad omen.
Shoes Placed Upside Down to Secure Good Luck
Placing shoes upside down is believed to ensure that good luck stays locked inside them. This practice is often followed before important events like exams or interviews.
Offering Bread to Prevent Arguments
To stave off disagreements and maintain harmony, some Lebanese households have a tradition of placing a piece of bread on the table before a meal, symbolizing unity and goodwill.
Whistling at Night Attracts Unwanted Spirits
Whistling in the dark is generally frowned upon due to the belief that it can summon supernatural entities. Elders often discourage this practice to avoid drawing attention from otherworldly beings.
A Ring on the Tip of a Knife to Predict the Gender of the Next Baby
Suspenseful parents-to-be place a wedding ring on the edge of a knife. The way the ring sways is said to predict the gender of their next child – back and forth for a girl, and in a circle for a boy.
These intriguing Lebanese superstitions and beliefs showcase the enduring power of culture and tradition, passing down unique practices that continue to shape daily life.